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Windows: improving insulation and the 'view.' (Review and Forecast, Section IV)

Faced with complaints from residents about sporadic leaking and air infiltration, the board president of The Whitehall, a 450-unit Riverdale co-op, decided his building's windows would need replacement. After checking with residents, though, he learned that preventing drafts was not the only issue on residents' minds - maintaining their waterfront views was also important.

Since the WhiteHall borders the Hudson River and is accustomed to getting hit with cold winds, thermal-insulated windows were a must for this building. The polyurethane thermal break inherent in thermal insulated windows reduces the conduction of heat or cold. We installed nearly 4,000 windows, which enabled the Whitehall to contain more heat during winter months and keep cool in the summer, repelling heat and ultraviolet rays of the sun.

The age of the windows also contributed to the amount of water and air infiltration they were receiving. Many of the windows that were installed in buildings in the early seventies, like the WhiteHall's, were not created with an extra layer of protection against the cold or vandalism like the windows of today. As a result, many are coming due for replacement.

Whitehall board president Horace Bullard agrees. "Our windows were definitely adding to our fuel wastage," he said. "When it rained, air and water continuously infiltrated. There was definitely a problem heating apartments."

While thermal-insulated windows, containing one-inch insulated glass, would be more than enough to stop the water leaks and airinfiltration problems, maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the building proved to be more of a challenge. Since the Whitehall is equipped with such modern amenities as a healthclub, glass- enclosed adult and children's pools, a business center, and rooftop deck, findings windows that would complement it was thought - provoking.

Faced with this architectural challenge, we gauged Whitehall's needs and designed windows with full thermal-break construction and maximum glass with minimal exposed frame. Our Narrow Sightlines, which we customized for the building, have a very smooth finish and are easy to maneuver. The narrow sightline feature is available in both windows and doors and comes in different colors.

According to board president Bullard, the Air Master windows add considerably to the building's marketability and to residents' comfort. "The new windows fit in perfectly," he explains. "They're not only an attractive white color, we can open these sliders with one hand. Residents also like the fact that there is in the middle, just glass."

Just how important is the view to residents? "Our views have always been a key attraction for residents. It was very noticeable that our aluminum frames had deteriorated throughout the years and were starting to be pitted or rust," he said.

"We're only 20 minutes from the city," elaborated Bullard, "so residents require the same type of interior and exterior amenities that you find in many of the high-rise co-ops in Manhattan."

Installing new windows, however, was not enough to keep Whitehall residents happy - the terraces also required some renovation work. "We decided we needed to cap the concrete on the terraces as well because it was slowly deteriorating," says Bullard. "You can't go all out on the windows and leave the terraces the way they were." To satisfy these needs, we replaced the concrete slabs with aluminum and installed 17 thermal-insulated terrace doors.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Hagedorn Publication
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kapp, Tina
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 24, 1992
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